Walking is my favourite form of exercise; it's leisurely, the scenery can be beautiful, and it can be (for some at least) quite literally on your doorstep. For me there's no better time to explore outdoors than winter; there's something about returning home, windswept and chilly with rosy cheeks, that allows you to feel truly connected with nature. The prospect of a warming hot chocolate and pulling a blanket over your toes is enough to conquer even the bleakest of weathers, and over the past couple of weeks Dan and I have taken full advantage of our time off, taking Bella walking through the wolds to discover scenery old and new in a wintry light.
The frosty, fresh mornings have meant our wellies have remained (largely) mud free and it has been a joy to crunch and stride through the fields and delight in so many tiny things: tufts of Lincoln Reds caught on barbed wire; the soft popping sounds of the pheasant shoot on the other side of the valley; silhouettes of branches that frame the sunrise; and vast, vibrant blue skies that herald the start of the new year and seem endless over our heads.
These last few days I have sorely missed our walks; leaving and returning for work when it's dark outside makes exploring a little more difficult, but I wait in earnest for the weekend. It's easy to get caught up in daily life and forget to appreciate the joys that a simple walk can bring, but this year I am determined to make time and continue to explore. The Lincolnshire Wolds is often overlooked in favour of other beauty spots, but for me the rolling hills and patchwork fields are second to none.